Monday, August 22, 2016

A Blast from the Past

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to work on a somewhat sentimental project. I'm excited to share some of my favorite "After" pics of it; but first -- let's take a short trip down memory lane.

My very first "design" job was in a local wallpaper & fabric store. Doesn't sound very design-ish when I say it now, but it really was. We sold designer wallpaper & fabrics, window treatments, and accessories to designers, builders, and D-I-Yers throughout middle Tennessee. And let me tell you, selling wallpaper and fabric in the late 80s & early 90s was a big deal. If it didn't move, chances are it was covered in wallpaper and draped with fabric -- most all of which had giant cabbage roses or thick awning stripes on it. Every house had wallpaper. It was très chic. I kid you not.

One of our clients at the shop was a developer who built communities across the Nashville area. During construction either he or his buyers would stop by the store to make wallpaper selections for the new homes. Though most of the 25-30 year old homes have long since removed the wallpaper, fabric, and accessories that we sold them back in the day, sometimes I get a glimpse into the past. This was one of those houses.

The homeowners had removed all of the wallpaper except for a striped number in a powder room. So I wasn't lucky enough to catch sight of an antique Waverly pattern from the English Cottage collection, but I did see lots of glorious brass fixtures, mauve-tinged grey paint, and more yellow oak than you can shake a stick at. I also saw something that I've NEVER seen in my life. Take a look at the shower area of the master bath.

Do you see it? Look closer. 

There's carpet on the side of that tub. Really. 

I've been in lots of the houses in this neighborhood and have never seen a tub surround that was carpeted. Carpet on the floors -- sure. But on the side of the tub? NEVER. Most of the tubs either have a matching tile or cultured marble panel on the front. Like this . . .

I asked the owners about it. They swore they had nothing to do with it. Apparently it was like that when the home was completed in 1987.  

My parents recently built a new house. During construction, one of their tubs suffered an injury after it was installed and had to be replaced. The replacement was the wrong color, but the tile had already been installed around it, so the second new tub had to be reglazed. 

My guess is that the tub in my clients' home suffered a similar mishap. And builders being builders, rather than replace the tub, they thew a carpet panel on the side of the tub because it was the quickest and cheapest solution. 

The trouble with this solution is that buyers in today's market do not find carpet in the bath charming or practical. In fact, it's a major turn off. 

To bring it on-trend, I suggested the current number one cover-up for dated surfaces -- SHIPLAP! 

My long-time readers may recall that I am horrible at taking Before and After photos, and this project is no exception. I did get a shot of the transformation; but it's really bad.  You can kinda see it in the corner of a pic I took showing the changes to the vanity. I'm so sorry. It was such a huge part of the project. I can't believe I forgot to take a good pic of it. 

Here's the tiny shot of the shiplap covered tub surround. The photo is not great, but the end result was terrific. 

Now let's take a look at some of the Before and Afters of the entire master suite.  Here's what it looked like when I arrived for the initial consultation: 

As you can see, the master was bland and uninspiring. Furniture lined the perimeter of the room, artwork was too small, the lighting was dark and dated, and the amazing architecture was being ignored. 

To boost the style factor in this room, we implemented four simple solutions: Paint, Lighting, Linens, and Accessories. 

The mauve-tinged grey walls were replaced by one of my favorite go-to colors for bedrooms, Sherwin Williams Sea Salt #6204. Then we emphasized the soaring ceilings by hanging simple white curtain sheers from the ceiling to the floor. We tied the look together by repeating the soft white color on the bed linens.

To show of the room's spaciousness, we removed the small chest of drawers, plant stands, and wicker pieces. Then we placed the dresser on the wall opposite the bed and added a matching rocker to the corner.  

We finished it off with new accessories. First, we ditched the dark, wall-mounted lamps in lieu of more contemporary lamps with lighter shades. Then we added larger, coordinated art pieces to create a soft, harmonious environment. Take a look . . .

In the bath, the oak cabinets and gold fixtures screamed, "Welcome to 1987!"

Like in the bedroom, we reminded the owners that paint, new fixtures, and dazzling accessories can mask a multitude of sins. The cabinets were painted with Sherwin Willims Foothills #7514 in a satin finish. The fixtures were replaced with new lights in a frosted gold finish to tone down the brass while still coordinating with existing cabinet knobs and door trims. Then a simple arrangement of white tulips was added to provide a cohesiveness to the entire suite. I think it is a stunning transformation.

Here's the gorgeous finished product. The owners and I were very pleased. What's more, it had tons of showings and offers in its first week on the market!